Shane Blackman reads much Irish History and Literature. He discusses routes his Irish great-grandmother Mary took to America with compassion. Shane received a B.A. in History and Literature from Wabash College and an M.A. in History from Indiana University. At Wabash, Shane won the Walter Fertig Prize for Excellence in Writing. He has been a Lecturer in History at Indiana University, a Research Fellow at Princeton University, and a Research Assistant for The Works of Jonathan Edwards project at Yale. Shane taught Creative Writing in Arizona’s high schools, and his poems have appeared in The Mythic Circle and The Galway Review. When the Irish writer Seamus Heaney was Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, Shane was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University.

A Sonnet for Cathriona White

She moved to the United States from Ireland
To pursue dreams in cities of angels.
I mourn her passing like I mourn the deaths
Of Sylvia Plath and Ernest Hemingway.
May God teach us to reach out to those in
Pain, before they give up on life itself.
Born in County Tipperary, this girl
Wanted to love life and others from the
Start: Blessed are the pure and the humble.
May we give women like Cathriona,
And men like that young guy on the Cuban
Sea, all the hope and faith in this wide world.
Love is patient, love is kind, love is good.
God bless the gentle lady from Cappawhite.

When Doctor Herriot Worked a Miracle

They say Christ and the Apostles can’t do
Miracles now, but I do not believe
Those who make that commentary on the
Bible and the truths found there and therein.
When I was a child, my dear mother read
From the divine “All Creatures Great and Small,”
The doctor’s “All Things Wise and Wonderful.”
I cannot help but think of that passage
In “The Epistle of James,” where God says
He listens to the righteous and heals the sick,
Or the Gospel which notes the Lord has His
Eye on the sparrow and believers in
Mercy, grace, and salvation in heaven.
My Golden Lab was healed with meds and prayers.

Gary Metz and His Photography

In the kitchen hangs a painting of a
Table set by a loving mother, who cashed in
Her savings, to help her wise son succeed.
The father turned the child into a fan
Of mountains and Ansel Adams sublime.
Gary Metz flipped the legend on its head
And walked fresh paths in cold Colorado.
The man saw rusting Porsches, and pine trees,
Which humanity, and God, changed with time.
He read “Lamentations” and reminded
People about their corrupting rivers & lakes
And driving cars too fast through the forest.
The protégés assembled a festschrift,
“Quaking Aspen: A Lyric Complaint.”


NOTE: Author’s letter to The Galway Review…